Saturday, 6 July 2013

Funny Girl Mel and Me

It is with great pleasure (and trepidation) that I welcome author Catherine Astolfo to these pages.  Pleasure, because she is a great writer, one of the good gals, and I adore her.  Trepidation, because of the title of her post, coming up below.  The books she writes may not be comedies, but she herself is a delightful wit.    

Melodie Campbell and I first met in a downtown Toronto dungeon. You know what dungeons are like. Dank, creaky, dusty, moldy; slanted stairs; iron-gated elevators that screech past each floor with excruciating sluggishness.
Picture emaciated people behind those bars. Dirty bearded faces with no teeth. Enormous spiders crawl up the filthy walls and down my arm…
All right. Most of that I made up. After all, I am a writer.
But it is true that Mel and I met in an old building that housed a boatload of Crime Writers of Canada paraphernalia. Budget cutbacks are everywhere and they even affected our storage unit. So off I went with this stranger to work hip-to-hip relocating all the stuff.
An old building it certainly was. The aforementioned creakiness was real and the elevator truly was antique. There were two elderly gentlemen in the office who might have been the original owners of the place. They looked a little askance that we were moving out, but gave us the key anyway and wished us luck.
Mel and I traversed the dimly lit hallways and slanted floors as only crime writers can do. We laughed all the way. I was overjoyed that this woman had a big laugh, not a teeny ladylike titter but a full guffaw. Just like me. She too had an inner skinny, muscular woman inside her covered up by clothes that were far too big. We were the perfect match for this task.
Here it is nearly four years later. We’ve not only cleaned up dungeons, but we’ve also been through health wars, writing angst, setting ships on course (I suppose it goes without saying that that’s a metaphor), awards, publishing, and traversing the mazes of social media.
Recently Mel was one of my beta readers for my latest novel, Sweet Karoline, and I did the same for her current release, Rowena and the Dark Lord. It’s wonderful when you not only like the person but you also enjoy their writing. Doesn’t happen that often, but it’s magic when it does. I even included a “y” version of Melodie’s name in my novel.
Our books are very different; Mel’s are mostly laugh-out-loud hilarious and mine are mostly serious. In some other life, when we have more time, maybe we’ll write a television script together. I’ve got some great characters who need funny lines. Naturally the series would be a smashing success.
I look forward to more collaboration with the Funny Girl. We can yap about the serious side of life, then make fun of everything around us. It makes for great girl talk. Plus, if only someone would make us queens of the world, we could solve every problem in the universe. I’m sure you and your friends could do the same.

Catherine Astolfo’s newest novel, Sweet Karoline, arrives July 14, 2013. Come visit her and find all the links you need at


  1. Now I'll feel a lot less self-conscious when "Ali and I" gets posted on Monday. :)

    Lovely post, Cathy.

  2. What Cath fails to mention is that the two sweet old guys at the desk thought Cath was a real dish! I wasn't sure they were going to let her out of there :)